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A dear friend and mentor, Pete, once said to me, “Calling isn’t limited to vocation, it’s rooted in God’s creativity and how he’s designed us.”
As I considered the truth of his words, I realized our purpose began when God formed us, and he continues to call us as long as we have breath. The psalmist wrote it this way:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV)
God appointed his purpose for each of us, even in our mothers’ wombs. God isn’t casual about establishing our talents; he ordained them before our days began. ()
I considered the uniqueness of my own story, the path I’d taken from the womb, and as I did, I began to understand my calling. Before I was born, God knew I’d be a reader; he knew that in fourth grade I’d read sixty-two Nancy Drew books. He knew I’d be mesmerized by the power of a good story. He knew the reader in me would long to communicate, to tell stories. God knew I’d major in mass communications in college, that I’d love the art of sharing messages.
God knew more than my passions and talents, though. He also knew the ways mental illness would unfurl in my family. He knew I’d give birth to a child with special needs. He knew I’d suffer from panic disorder. But the story didn’t end with my limitations and weaknesses. God also knew he’d equip me to use my gifts to share hope with others through my own brokenness.
As I unpacked my story and my unique gifts, I began to understand. Calling is where our talents and burdens collide. As I shared this clarity with my husband Gabe, it became obvious to both of us. I should start writing. God wanted me to share his words with a hurting, needy world. God—the very God who formed me, who breathed life into me, who knew what I was capable of handling—would empower me for the work.
As children of God, we have a corporate calling to love God and make him known. What’s amazing is that this calling looks different for each of us based on our talents and the burdens we feel for others. We don’t have to stress about finding our “thing” but simply ask God to reveal his plans for us.
Callings are not one size fits all. Some of you may be called to teach, speak, and write. Others may be called to serve in the corporate world, or at home, or with your church youth group. You may be called to serve in quiet ways or in ways that go unrecognized.
No matter your calling, God chose you and appointed a purpose for you well before you were born. This purpose is to bring glory to Jesus, to be his very hands and feet. And if the task is daunting, remember this: as he calls you, he leans in and whispers, “Don’t worry; I’ll empower your work.”
“Calling is where our talents and burdens collide.” What gifts and talents has God given you? What burdens break your heart? In journaling and prayer, ask God to guide you to the place where they collide and to lead you into living out his calling on your life.
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